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Dozens of firefighters faced extreme heat conditions as they battled a five-alarm fire in Dorchester late Sunday afternoon that displaced about 30 people from three triple-deckers on Quincy Street.

One firefighter had to be taken to the hospital, and at least two others were treated at the scene, said Brian Alkins, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.

The fire, which was reported shortly before 4 p.m., began on the back porch of either the second or third floor of 439 Quincy St., Alkins said.

Amilcar Alfama, 55, who lives in a third-floor apartment, said his 31-year-old son was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but quickly recovered.

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“I came back from work and saw all this,” he said, gesturing to the fire trucks outside his home. “It’s not great, but it’s life.”

A fourth alarm was sounded when the fire spread to two adjacent three-family homes. A fifth alarm was sounded to have enough firefighters on hand to allow crews to rotate to prevent heat exhaustion, Alkins said.

More than two dozen fire trucks and other emergency vehicles squeezed onto the dense residential street. With temperatures well above 90 degrees, fire crews faced extreme conditions fighting the blaze.

Firefighters climbed up and down four ladders extended to the roof of three homes that caught fire. The bulk of the fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. The cause remains under investigation, Alkins said.

The department tweeted thanks to the command staff at the fire for “keeping everyone hydrated and fresh,” and to the Boston Sparks Association for providing a canteen truck “ . . that provided much needed relief under these hot and humid conditions.”

At least 30 residents have been displaced from the three homes, which sustained approximately $400,000 in damages, Alkins said. Only 439 Quincy St. had interior damages, but all three buildings have fire and water damage on their roofs, according to Alkins.

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The heat of the fire melted the siding on two buildings that are behind the three triple-deckers, according to Alkins.

Jerome Wesley, 64, who lives next door at 435 Quincy St., said he was taking a nap after work when he was awakened by the fire engines’ sirens.

Wesley said that he was allowed to grab a few of his belongings from inside his third-floor apartment but that he had no idea when he’d be able to permanently return home.

“We’re definitely not going to stay here tonight,” he said. “Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll get a better idea.”

A firefighter sought some relief under a wet towel during a break from battling multiple house fires as temperatures outside reached well into the 90s.
A firefighter sought some relief under a wet towel during a break from battling multiple house fires as temperatures outside reached well into the 90s.(Erin Clark for The Boston Globe)

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at sophia.eppolito@globe.com